NBA playoff preview and predictions

Published: April 21, 2016

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS CLEVELAND CAVALIERS small forward LeBron James soars to the basket during last year’s NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors went on to win the series. This year, both Golden State and Cleveland earned the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CLEVELAND CAVALIERS small forward LeBron James soars to the basket during last year’s NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors went on to win the series. This year, both Golden State and Cleveland earned the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences.

Commentary By
CHRISTIAN MCVEIGH

As the NBA playoffs kick into full throttle, fans everywhere are beginning to speculate as to who is winning what matchup, and ultimately, the championship. Here is the rundown.

East
Cavaliers Vs. Pistons
It will come as a surprise to few when Cleveland comes out of this series. Detroit will be lucky to win a game. However, the Cavaliers have been looking shoddy in this series, squeaking out of game one by five points, possibly foreshadowing a collapse in later rounds.

Raptors Vs. Pacers
Now this is interesting. The Raptors, known league-wide for faltering in the playoffs, have already given away game one in Toronto, giving the Pacers the advantage. With game one in their pockets and Paul George being the best player on the floor, the Pacers are a trending upset pick. However, I see the Raptor’s desire to win and spread-out offensive attack leading them back.

Heat Vs. Hornets
After the Heat made a joke of the Hornets in game one, beating them by more than 30 points, it’s hard to say the Hornets have any hope. This Heat team is very underrated, especially for playoff basketball, as it is filled with all kinds of veteran leadership in Wade, Joe Johnson, Stoudemire, and Deng, as well as being one of the deepest teams in the league. Consider this team a lock to beat Charlotte and solid pick to make it to the finals.

Hawks Vs. Celtics
As most four to five seed matchups are, this is a very even series. Atlanta took game one at home, but only by one point. The Hawks are a team that have made playoff runs every year, but never quite have the firepower to make it. This year is no different. They’ll barely survive this series vs. the Celtics, with Avery Bradley’s injury being the only reason they survive at all. Although like every other year, the Hawks will be sent home soon due to their lack of a go-to guy.

West
Warriors Vs. Rockets
As much as I would love to see the Warriors lose and all of the comparisons to the ’95-’96 bulls go out the window, it’s just not going to happen. Barring some sort of drastic injury or problem, the Warriors will walk through this series and most others. The Spurs in playoff form pose a threat to anyone, but Steph has the hot hand right now and the Warriors just had literally the greatest regular season ever. I don’t see a reality in which they don’t repeat as champs.

Spurs. Vs. Grizzlies
Now this is just a sad series. I mean this isn’t even fun. The Grizzlies look more like a D-League team than they do an NBA team. They’ve been absolutely rocked by injuries late in the season and stand no chance against the almighty Spurs. The Spurs, being a well-oiled playoff machine, should be able to make it to the conference finals, where they’ll lose to Golden State.

Thunder Vs. Mavericks
The Thunder, still waiting for the championship that slipped from their fingers, will make quick work of Dallas. The Mavs are deep, but very few teams can compete with Westbrook and Durant. I see the Thunder as the only team with a chance to beat the Warriors, simply because if Durant and Westbrook both go off, they can’t lose. That has to happen for an entire series though, which is unlikely, if the Thunder can even make it through San Antonio.

Clippers Vs. Trail Blazers
Los Angeles vs. Portland, sadly an irrelevant series. The Blazers were lucky enough to slide in to the five seed where they’ll lose to the Clip-show. It’d be great to see CP3 get the ring he deserves, but the Warriors want a ring too and they’re not going to stop to help out Chris Paul, leaving the Clippers to be eliminated in the second round.

Students at The University seem to have a strong opinion on the playoffs as well. “Yeah, the Warriors are good, but I don’t bet against Lebron. Cavaliers in seven,” first-year student D.J. Kindya said.

Sam Smit, another first-year student, said, “I think the Warriors are overrated. They live and die by the three, and eventually they will die. I’ve got the Thunder shocking the world and Russell Westbrook winning finals M.V.P.”
Everything is coming together in the NBA, tune in this month to catch some great basketball!

Contact the writer: christian.mcveigh@scranton.edu

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